There are several methods for screening cervical abnormal cell changes. While the conventional Pap smear is the most common method, new molecular technique, namely HPV DNA Genotyping test is the most advance technique and gaining popularity as it can identify the specific genotype of the virus.
Q. What's the difference between a Pap Test and a HPV Test?
A Pap smear test is a cytological screening technique used to detect cervical cancer or any cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer whereas HPV DNA is a different technique which can detect HPV virus before abnormal cells develop and assess one’s risk of developing cervical cancer. In cases of ASCUS (minor changes), HPV DNA can help to differentiate between those that are at risk of cancer from those that may be caused by bacterial infection.
Q. Any check up is required prior to vaccination?
Check up serves the purpose of screening / early detection of infection and cell changes. Hence it is not a “must” step prior to vaccination. However, initial check up for someone who had been sexually active can provide re-assurance that there is no pre-exiting abnormality or treatment can be implemented at an early stage.
Q. What are the effective screening methods for HPV?
For female, a pap smear test is the most common and affordable way for checking normality of cervical cells whilst the latest HPV DNA screening technique will make it more conclusive on detecting various “risk type” in case if abnormal cervical cell is found.